More and more families are find out that cycling is a great way to get some exercise and explore new places. Kids big and small love heading out for an adventure on two wheels and it pays to gather a few bits of kit together to make sure you get the most of your trip. Why not plan a family ride around a great view, an ice cream stop with a café for lunch?
Here’s our tips on the things you’ll want to think about packing to help you deal with most eventualities.
1. Food and water – even if you’re planned route is taking you somewhere with refreshments (and remember those are trickier to find than normal at the moment), you’ll want plenty of water and a few snacks with you. Resting time is snacking time, so every time you stop make sure your crew stays hydrated and top up their energy levels a little.
Pro level tip – always keep a little packet of sweeties stashed away for when things get a bit wobbly.
2. Dealing with weather – we do most of riding at home in Scotland and as our countryman Billy Connolly said “There’s no such thing as bad weather – only the wrong clothes”. So unless you’re sure it’s going to stay dry it’s always worth hedging your bets and chucking waterproofs for all into a bag.
Must have: a little bottle of sun cream for replenishment during the ride.
3. Dealing with punctures – the one thing that every rider dreads – even mentioning the “P” word makes us nervous – but they’re actually pretty rare, particularly if you give your tyres a quick pump up before you leave. Spare tubes make for the quickest fix, but it pays to carry a small puncture repair kit too, just in case you hit a rash of them. Take the biggest pump that you can – a tiny micro pump is fine on a summer road ride, but you’ll be there for ages when you’re trying to pump up an MTB tyre.
Must haves – inner tubes, tyre levers, puncture repair kit, pump
4. Tools – you don’t need to carry a tool box of gear around with you if you’re close to home. A good multi-tool will do the trick for most jobs, but worth carrying a small adjustable spanner for wheels without quick releases – as you often find on kid’s bikes and tagalongs.
Top tip – pop all of your tools into a small bag so they’re always ready to grab and go.
5. Spread the load – the ride leader doesn’t always have to carry all the spares so split out the spares between the riders in their own rucksacks. Packing light is a good life lesson for the little ones too.